Words Glenn Blomfield
SUSPIRIA is a story of a American dancer coming to Germany to a Dance School. Lurking within its walls is a Witches coven. SUSPIRIA is a reimagining of a Dario Argento’s 1977 beautiful art-house horror masterpiece. In this new SUSPIRIA the directors helm is Luca Guadaginio, and he has created an astonishing movie, a lust for the mesmerisingly crazy, visually stunning, it does not abate from being disturbing. This is not a horror film for jump scares and gore, SUSPIRIA aims for the psyche, gets under your skin, creeps into those dark areas of the psyche that you don’t want awakened. The question is: why remake a classic? that I wish not to answer, as I found this reimagining an incredible cinematic experience.
Backdrop is 1977 Berlin, the retro feel in comparison to the original SUSPRIA released in 1977. Berlin is in political turmoil, the omnipresent ‘Wall’ stands in prominent view of the Dance school. The political turmoil playing out in the streets of Berlin, terrorism and freedom fighters, feels a little overplayed and seems an unnecessary subplot, its emphasis maybe too heavy-handed in its themes, with all the ongoings within the the Witches coven, hidden within the creepy Dance school.
The soundtrack for the original 1977 SUSPIRIA, is interwoven with the power of the film, the band GOBLIN created one of the most iconic horror soundtracks ever made. This time around Tom Yorke from RADIOHEAD, has created the soundtrack which also is a fantastic beautifully haunting and is a disturbing companion piece. The soundtrack alone is worth the experience when seeing SUSPIRIA.
Dakota Johnson is unrecognisable from her ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ films, she plays the American girl that enters the Dance school, and aims for dancing heights, captivating the interest of the dance school Heads. She holds the power of the film, with incredible work. Tilda Swinton as always is amazing and captivating, playing the role of the head dance teacher, she has soul and haunting grace. Watch the film carefully and you may notice Tilda Swinton playing another key character role.
I could go on about the luscious design of the film, the production design I adored its bauhaus, cold haunting design and colour scheme. Its embracing of 1970’s filmmaking and film process techniques. But alas I need to keep this review short and to the point. SUSPIRIA is a phenomenal movie experience, amazing piece of filmmaking. Mesmerising and stunning, a beautifully haunting, disturbing Art-house horror film, also be warned it can be a bit just ‘out-there’ crazy bizarre. For once, this reviewer enjoyed this ‘off the rails’ ride.